As in Room 237, the subject of obsession is complemented by a despairing attempt to process it, corral it, and somehow conquer it.
The Nightmare seems frustratingly content with alarming us with shock cuts and surface-level boogie monsters.
Irony is a popular pose struck throughout these shorts, which are less revealing of the existentialist despair that death often rouses than they are of their makers’ prejudices.
A love letter to obsessional cinephilia, Rodney Ascher’s Room 237 gets a sterling Blu-ray transfer and some illuminating extras from MPI Media Group.
A prismatic meditation on an entire nation, Eliav Lilti’s documentary is history as abstraction.
Ascher discusses what he learned most from The Shining fans profiled in Room 237 and his own love of Kubrick.
It positions The Shining as a comparably coiled, thematically overflowing microcosm—standing in for cinema, for history, for obsession, for postmodern theory buckling under the film’s heft.